Il Barbiere di Siviglia Returns to the Met

Rossini's comic favorite IL Barbiere di Siviglia returns to the Met today  for a 14-performance run featuring two extraordinary casts in Bartlett Sher's hit production. In the first cast, Peter Mattei, who starred in the 2007 Live in HD transmission of the opera, reprises his acclaimed portrayal of Figaro, the jack-of-all-trades whose services to the people of Seville go far beyond cutting hair. Isabel Leonard, winner of the 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, makes her Met role debut as the willful heroine Rosina and debuting Mexican tenor Javier Camarena is the Count who disguises himself to win her heart. Maurizio Muraro sings the role of Rosina's guardian, Dr. Bartolo, and Paata Burchuladze is his co-conspirator, the music teacher Don Basilio. Maurizio Benini conducts.

Mattei has starred in a diverse range of operas at the Met, singing lead roles in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, Puccini's La Bohème, Janá?ek's From the House of the Dead and, last season, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades. Leonard, last seen at the Met as Dorabella in Così fan tutte, also sings Zerlina in the Met's new production of Don Giovanni this season. Camarena is well-known in many European houses for his Rossini roles, including Count Almaviva-which he has sung at Zurich Opera and Vienna State Opera-and Lindoro in L'Italiana in Algeri, which he sang in recent seasons in Zurich and Vienna as well as at the Dresden State Opera.

On October 22, Samuel Ramey steps into the role of Don Basilio for three performances. Ramey, who has triumphed at the Met in a diverse repertory spanning Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Mussorgsky, and Prokofiev, has returned to the role of Basilio often since he first sang it at the Met in 1990. On October 26, two new stars, Rodion Pogossov and Alexey Kudrya, join the production in the respective roles of Almaviva and Figaro. Pogossov, a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, sang Figaro in the Met's 2009-10 season and Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Met in 2004 and 2008. Russian tenor Kudrya, who is making his Met debut, has sung Almaviva around the world, performing the role at opera houses in Moscow, Palermo, Vienna, and Budapest during the 2010-11 season.

Beginning February 4, a new cast joins Pogossov in Barbiere. Star soprano Diana Damrau returns to the role of Rosina, which she sang to excellent reviews in the 2006 new production premiere. Colin Lee will make his Met role debut as Almaviva, while John Del Carlo reprises his comic Dr. Bartolo and star bass Ferruccio Furlanetto sings Don Basilio. Damrau appeared at the Met last season as Countess Adèle in the house premiere of Rossini's Le Comte Ory, as Gilda in Rigoletto, and in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor during the Met's tour to Japan. Later this season, she will make her house role debut as Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore. Lee made his Met debut as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor in the 2008-09 season, in a performance that was seen internationally through The Met: Live in HD. Furlanetto, who first sang Basilio at the Met in 1984, also stars in this season's productions of Faust and Ernani.

Maurizio Benini, who led the 2006 premiere of Sher's production, conducts all performances of Barbiere at the Met this season. Benini's most recent Met performance was the company premiere of Rossini's Le Comte Ory in the 2010-11 season, also directed by Sher. Sher made his Met debut with Barbiere and his production has been revived three times since it premiered in 2006.

Live Broadcasts
The opening night performance of IL Barbiere di Siviglia on October 1 will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 74, as will the performances on October 4, 19, February 15, and 18. The October 19 and February 15 performances will also be streamed live on the Met's website, www.metopera.org.

The February 18 matinee at 1:00 p.m. will be broadcast live over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

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